The City of Kigali is currently revamping traffic islands, also known as roundabouts, developing theme and amusement parks, tourism sites, and going at large to lure private investors to invest in other recreational spaces.
The upcoming Kigali Cultural Village, whose first phase was completed is set to open its 300-seater movie theater and a 15000-audience open concert area to the public, is one of those key projects.
Although Century Cinema started off well showing many blockbuster movies, it later became inconsistent and with a population of more than 1.2 million that has been growing, it is difficult to comprehend that there was no other cinema hall.
Later alone, there was not even a single public park from where people could wind-off . The good news is that the city is finally realizing that we cannot afford to be a place where only people are forced to choose between going to a nightclub and staying home.
The Nyandungu Ecotourism Park, whose stunning nature could give more than a vibrant lifestyle to inhabitants, is a welcome move. The former Gikondo industrial zone, being turned into another public eco-park is also a perfect decision by the city.
The deliberate efforts by the City authorities to beautify and make the city green is highly commendable. For one, because life would be boring without green spaces where people can find life beyond office life.
It is estimated that nearly 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals highlight the need to ensure these cities are safe and sustainable for all.
Across the world, cities are innovating to tackle challenges such as climate change, environmental and noise pollution, and increasing traffic resulting from the rise of private vehicles ownership.
And with an ever-increasing global population and rising urbanization, creating safe, resilient and sustainable cities is right at the top of the green agenda.
Indeed, changing the culture and character of Kigali to enable people to have a different lifestyle is very critical, and finding the best ways to increase the number of recreational spaces will make cities lively and livable.
Kigali has grown at an impressive rate for the past two decades, and it has positioned itself as an example of what the country can achieve if it has the right leadership and governance. We can leverage that to invest in recreational activities.
We can’t afford to be a city that compels their dwellers to choose between good or bad rather we can aim to be a city of endless options, not just for inhabitants but also the millions of tourists that visit the country.